The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Aerospace company Slingsby Advanced Composites
announces new operation in Prestwick

By: Murdoch MacDonald

SLINGSBY Advanced Composites has announced plans for expansion to its design, manufacturing and marketing operations for structural composite and metal structures for the defence, aerospace, marine and rail industries by opening a new facility in Prestwick, Ayrshire, Scotland. Driven by the increased demand for commercial and consumer air travel boosting aircraft production worldwide, Slingsby intends to seize this opportunity to further develop its already expanding aerospace portfolio.

Advanced composite materials such as carbon and glass fibre enable air frames to be lighter, stronger, more cost effective and kinder to the environment than equivalent metal airframes. Demand for composite fuselage airliners, such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner (pictured above) has increased by 15% in the last year.

Managing director Steven Boyd, a former apprentice of British Aerospace, Prestwick said: “It’s an exciting time for Slingsby as we embark on a venture that will not only complement, but enhance technology in the local community. Having spent over ten years working for BAe, it is testimony to the skill set, reputation for innovation and capabilities of the people in the area that we as a company chose Ayrshire.”

Finance director Stuart Brown added: “We are growing as a business and strengthening our market position. Many new projects are under discussion with current customers, and we anticipate them coming to fruition in the not too distant future. Hence it will necessitate the need for skilled people across many disciplines. The expansion will create 28 new jobs at the company’s Prestwick base, and the new investment is being supported by a Regional Selective Assistance grant of £250K.”

Announcing the support, Enterprise Minister Jim Mather MSP said: “Slingsby’s plan to invest in this new facility at Prestwick brings welcome jobs to the area and demonstrates Scotland’s clear strengths in the manufacturing industry sector.

“Having had another lengthy dialogue with the aerospace sector again this week, it is encouraging to have a company aiming to strengthen Scotland’s aerospace engineering portfolio, which will undoubtedly contribute to achieving increased sustainable economic growth.”

Scottish Enterprise chief operating officer Lena Wilson said: “This announcement is tremendous news for Prestwick, and will bolster Scotland’s excellent reputation in the global aerospace industry.

“Build rates for civil aircraft are accelerating, and new types of aircraft are regularly being introduced, with the amount of composites used increasing rapidly. We should be proud that aircraft that will be flying throughout the world in years to come will have ‘made in Scotland’ stamped on their airframes.”

Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire is also supporting the company’s plans with a £350k Training Plus grant. The training programme, which will last until 2010, is to develop the composite manufacturing skills of the new employees the company will recruit.

Scottish Enterprise aerospace and defence team leader Jan Reid said: “The Scottish workforce is already recognised by the aerospace industry for its flexibility and adaptability to develop new skills, and composite materials technology presents a great opportunity for Scotland to build its expertise in this globally important sector.

“The technology also draws on a number of strengths in Scotland including our chemicals and textiles industries, and we are working to embed composite skills in Scotland, which will have an impact across Scotland.”

About Slingsby Advanced Composites

Slingsby Advanced Composites, founded in 1939, employs 120 people at its Kirkbymoorside, North Yorkshire facility. A leading company in the design, development, manufacture and support of Advanced Composites structures and assemblies for aerospace and defence systems across air, land and sea platforms, Slingsby specialises in Unmanned Airframe Vehicle aerostructures, Fixed and Rotary Wing Helmets, Civil Aerospace Aerostructures, Emergency Door Systems and Stealthy Structures for Naval Defence applications.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle entertains Rabbie Burns to lunch

By: Murdoch MacDonald

THE latest meeting of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle was a Burns Lunch held at Fouters Restaurant in Ayr.

Guests of honour included John Scott MSP for Ayr, invited members of the press, and Scotland’s national bard himself, Rabbie Burns.

[Picture shows left to right: Elite Ayrshire Business Circle executive chairman Norman Geddes welcoming Rabbie Burns and Ayr MSP John Scott. Click on image to view / download full-size version.]

Rabbie recited the Selkirk Grace as Fouters head chef George Ramage and his team served up a resplendent menu of traditional Scottish fare.

After lunch Rabbie led a discussion about how local businesses could make better use of the Burns name and tradition in marketing brand Ayrshire, with Homecoming Scotland - - just around the corner in 2009 particularly in mind.

[Picture shows some of the members and guests at the recent Elite Ayrshire Business Circle Burns Lunch. Click on image to view / download full-size version.]

The next meeting of the Circle will be a presentation about the implications for business of Alistair Darling’s first Budget as Chancellor of the Exchequer, led by Sinclair Scott Chartered Accountants and hosted by Clydesdale Bank Financial Solutions Centre in Ayr. Date to be announced nearer the time.

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle is a newly formed association of some of the top companies in Ayrshire.

Its purpose is to celebrate and promote the rich diversity of industry, commerce and business services available within the county boundaries of Ayrshire.

John Scott MSP commented: "Representing some of Ayrshire’s premier companies, the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle plays a valuable role in boosting the Ayrshire economy and in particular promoting through the internet the benefits of doing business in Ayrshire. I’m delighted to support the aims of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle, and wish them continued success in the excellent work they do."

For further information about the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle and to apply for membership, e-mail

Monday, 21 January 2008

Proven case for investment in Ayrshire wind turbine manufacturer

By: Murdoch MacDonald

A WIND TURBINE manufacturing scheme in Ayrshire is among the latest projects to be supported by Scottish Government Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) cash.

The RSA quarterly report includes a £250,000 grant to Proven Energy Ltd based in Stewarton to create 29 new jobs in the development, manufacture and installation of small-scale wind turbine systems.

Enterprise Minister Jim Mather said: “Wind turbine projects such as Proven Energy’s can play an integral role in ensuring that Scotland becomes a world leader in green energy, while helping to substantially cut carbon emissions.

“This is exactly the kind of investment project that will help this Government move towards its aim of increased, sustainable economic growth. We will be publishing our consultation on the Scottish Climate Change Bill this month. That will outline the Government’s commitment to tackling emissions and will provide more opportunities for green jobs.

“Regional Selective Assistance, in the absence of tax varying powers, is a scheme which stimulates job creation, enables business to flourish and helps create a greener and wealthier Scotland.”

Proven Energy chief executive Andrew McMullan said: “Proven Energy started up over 25 years ago as a small family-run business with a big mission - to make a greener world and a healthier environment.

“A number of external and environmental factors have presented huge opportunities for Proven Energy. We knew that we had to adapt in order to scale up and meet these challenges.

“Assistance from the Scottish Government has helped us to build an environment that is fit for growth.”

About Regional Selective Assistance

Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) is the main national scheme of financial assistance to industry. It provides discretionary grants for investment projects that will create or safeguard jobs in Assisted Areas - areas designated for regional aid under European Community law. The scheme is administered by the Innovation and Investment Grants (IIG) unit of the Scottish Government.

Payments of RSA are made in instalments, typically over several years, provided that job and project expenditure targets are met.

The amounts quoted here and in the report therefore represent the maximum grant potentially payable if the project is satisfactorily completed, and not the amount actually paid to date.

All job numbers are based on firms' forecast figures at the time a grant is offered, and are subject to change depending on future economic conditions and other factors affecting the business concerned.

About Proven Energy

Stewarton-based Proven Energy is a Scottish-based manufacturer and distributor of small-scale wind turbines for use in domestic and commercial environments.

After starting up 25 years ago, the company now has a global footprint with 1,500 turbines installed across the globe which are currently generating green energy from Antarctica to the Sahara Desert.

Proven Energy Ltd
Wardhead Park

Telephone: +44 (0)1560 485570


Ayrshire Scotland Business News -
where Ayrshire business news breaks first!

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Clydesdale Bank sponsors Ayrshire Business Awards 2008

By: Murdoch MacDonald

CLYDESDALE BANK is to sponsor the Ayrshire Business Awards 2008. Willie Mackie, (pictured below), managing partner at the Clydesdale Bank Financial Solutions Centre in Ayr, made the announcement this week. >>>

Yes, it’s that time of year again.

The glitzy gala night that showcases the best in Ayrshire business takes place in Kilmarnock next month.

The Ayrshire Business Awards recognise and reward the area’s regional champions of business excellence. It is the premier occasion on the Ayrshire business calendar.

Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire director of business skills Jim Reid says the event is a chance to celebrate everything that is positive about the Ayrshire economy.

He added: “So much has changed in Ayrshire in recent years that it’s important we recognise and reward the companies and the people who are at the heart of that change.

Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire is focused upon supporting more local companies to realise their growth potential and achieve greater success, so we are delighted that the Ayrshire Business Awards will once again shine a light on the companies that have realised their ambitions in any of the award categories in the last year.

“The level of support that we receive from our sponsors is really important, and I am delighted that such a high profile main sponsor as Clydesdale Bank has signalled its support. In addition, I’m really pleased to see that we have some new key sponsors this year.”

Willie Mackie, managing partner at the Clydesdale Bank Financial Solutions Centre in Ayr said: “These awards are a celebration of the best that the Ayrshire business community has to offer, and we are delighted to be supporting them as the main sponsor for the first time.

“The broad sweep of award categories means that there is the opportunity for all sizes of companies across a range of disciplines to enter and have their achievements recognised.”

The awards dinner and ceremony will take place at the Park Hotel, Kilmarnock on Thursday 7 February 2008.

The awards are once again supported by the Ayrshire Post, Irvine Herald and Kilmarnock Standard.

Judging is already under way, with a panel sifting through nominations to come up with the top three finalists in each category.

To reserve tickets for the awards dinner, contact event organisers Stratagem Ltd on 0141 331 2991.

Clydesdale Bank
Financial Solutions Centre
43 Alloway Street
Ayr KA7 1SP

Contact: Willie Mackie, Managing Partner
Tel: 01292 272072
Fax: 01292 280202